Before we delve into the diary for this evening, we would like to take a moment to recommend the cauliflower recipe from the New York Times this week – Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Brown Butter and Sage Salt. We’ve gotten about 10,000 cauliflowers from our farm share this fall, and tonight we finally dug into some of it using that recipe. It’s insane. Go for it. You can thank us later. (Just to brag about how awesome our farm is, we have gotten an unheard-of bounty this fall, and tonight we had the cauliflower with a roasted chicken, some buttered egg noodles, and honey-glazed carrots, turnips and rutabagas. It was a delicious night at stately IPB Manor. One of many in a delicious fall.)
So in extremely happy news, this game is going to be a gloomy slog of funlessness, as Ovechkin is not playing. We’ve never been so thrilled to know that the next two and a half hours of our lives were going to be devoid of fun. In other lineup news, the ZZ Bort Bort Borts are back together to start the game, as Bergfors has returned in record time from his turtle tank injuries.
18:31 We’re very busy eating right now. Have we mentioned that our dinner was really delicious tonight?
17:52 It didn’t take long for Doc and Chico to get on complaining about the trapezoid this evening. Our theory on why the rule hasn’t been taken out yet is that the GMs and Marty are playing a game of chicken. The GMs are trying to wait until Marty retires to take it out, and Marty’s hoping to stick around so long that he forces their hands.
16:37 Halischuk gets called for tripping when Semin falls over when he skates over near him. Pookie: “I have no problem with them calling that tripping as long as they call the even-up.” Pause. “This is where we need Getzi to beat that guy up for diving.” Pause. “It’s like Semin has no self-respect or something.”
15:45 There is no justice in the world, as Washington scores on that bullshit, shameful penalty. 1-0 Caps. We console ourselves knowing that Semin will eventually get to spend his eternity in the special circle of hell reserved for divers.
14:57 Ah. The phase of the season where the Devils knew how to win at home has come to an end. Some Cap whom we don’t care enough about to learn his name scores after some addled defensive-zone play from the home team. It’s 2-0 Caps. Pookie remarks, “It’s a good thing this dinner is so good, otherwise I’d be vomiting my marbles all over the place right now.” Doc is clearly thinking the same thing, as his response to this goal is to continue harping on how terrible the penalty call on Halischuk was.
13:34 The Pensblog guys recently declared that they are not going to write about Pens games anymore until Chris Bourque is off the team. We think that’s a good approach, and we’re considering taking it about Peters and the Devils. And as we watch Peters flub a clearing attempt by Marty, insult is added to injury as we realize Zach is stuck skating with Peters and Egg.
10:51 Here is a quote from Chico that sums up this period pretty well: “Like you said, Doc, the Devils with one shot in this period… [trails off] I can’t remember it. It was probably insignificant.”
10:12 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After some tenacious puck pursuit in the defensive zone, the Devils head up the ice on a rush: Zubrus to Langenbrunner to a streaking (yes, you read that right!) Colin White, and it’s 2-1 Caps. Well, we did not expect to ever see that!
8:16 Clarkson hits some Cap on the near boards. Pookie: “Okay, Clarkson can dive to draw penalties, because I know he doesn’t have any honor.” Heh. (MSG, by the way, takes this moment to tell us that was Whitey’s first goal since 2008. Chico tells us that’s hardly long at all, because Dano once went three times as long between goals.)
7:50 Doc thinks we give a shit about anything Bruce Boudreau has to say about his minor-league playing days. Doc? There’s a reason we are not going to read his book. Ever. (And yes, we are handing our marbles over to the Caps again. We know it. You don’t have to point it out.)
5:34 We come back from commercial to hear Gel-O giving us a report about Andy Greene’s response to that ridonkulous emperor-god-esque stat how he’s either assisted on or scored the game-winning goal in the last five games. Schnookie: “You mean Andy ‘Game Over’ Greene?”
4:16 The teams are back-and-forthing, and Doc takes the opportunity to tell us that Dave and Linda Greene are watching the game tonight. Schnookie absently sing-songs, “Hey Dave! Hey Linda!” Pause, during which she contemplates her empty wineglass. “I’m a bit toasty right now.”
1:11 Rolston and Langer get a chance on a really clever two-on-one, but Rolston ends up shooting into Theodore. That’s right, Rolston’s back to being the worst hockey player on the planet.
0:00 Well, the Devils stabilized a bit halfway through the period, but we would have preferred if they hadn’t spotted the Caps two goals.
You guys, this intermission was awesome. They’re talking up the food drive tonight, and in doing, show off some canned-food scupltures around the arena tonight. There’s a Zamboni made of 13,000 cans, a Prudential Center made of cans, a hockey goalie made of cans, and Devils and Prudential logos made of cans. The food drive/AIA spokesman tells us that the sculptures were all designed by architectural firms. Pookie: “I’m glad the AIA has a division for cans.” We would love to know how many families could be fed by that Zamboni sculpture. When they go to commercial, they show us a can sculpture of NJ Devil; it’s the most amazing thing we’ve ever seen:
20:00 The period starts with Patty on the ZZ Line. We’ll just get it out of the way now by mentioning that he’s fired.
16:35 Doc and Chico sound disappointed that they have to return to talking about the play-by-play after taking a little bit of an aside to marvel at the can sculptures. We don’t blame them. We’re transfixed by our screenshot of the NJ Devil (which Doc dubs “the Terminator Devil”).
14:41 After milling about their own zone clumsily, the ZZ Pattys, all of a sudden, make three lightning-quick passes to give Zach a glorious scoring chance on which he shoots just wide. Is this the boring, trapping Devils Caps fans complain about?
14:24 Mike Green trips Travis to end the ZZ Pattys’ offensive-zone pressure. Pookie, aghast: “Travis has no honor!” Schnookie looks panicked for a moment, having missed the play, and Pookie quickly adds, “Just kidding. That was a good call.”
14:15 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s better! The PP takes to the ice with all kinds of swaggery forecheck, smart, quick passing, and laser-beam slapshots from Langer, and it’s a 2-2 game. That was a no-nonsense man advantage.
10:06 Huh. Marty’s apparently studying to become an American citizen sometime next month. Chico assures us that the test is extremely difficult, and Pookie, who has encountered it many times at her job, backs him up on this. She is confident that if she had to take the citizenship test today, she’d fail. And fail hard. Good thing the citizenship test for PaulieMartinNation was really easy.
9:56 Coming back from commercial, we’re trying to figure out if we would have any hope of successfully naming all the US Presidents. Boomer: “I get bogged down between John Quincy Adams and Lincoln.” Schnookie: “I get bogged down between Lincoln and, I dunno… Jimmy Carter.”
8:38 A feisty, buzzing shift by the Devils leads to a too-many-men penalty by the Caps. Whoa. Since when do other teams take those? That’s the Devils’ signature move. (MSG shows a prolonged shot of Boudreau throwing a hissy-fit on the bench. Pookie supplies the audio: “I won’t autograph my book for you! Okay, fine, I will, but I won’t personalize it. Okay, I’ll personalize it, but I won’t spell your name right!”)
5:17 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In the least-surprising moment of the game for us, Zach scores on a breakaway thanks to some heads-up passing after a Semin offensive-zone turnover to catch the Caps on a bad change. We knew it was coming because we forgot that we feel behind on a wee spot of tivo delay at the end of the first intermission, but we can WOOOOOOOOOOOO! nonetheless. It’s 3-2 Devils, and Chico is on his high-horse about how dreadful Semin is.
3:51 You know what? We’re finally, after over a full year, taking Marty for granted again. It’s a nice feeling.
3:01 Mottau passes to Sestito in the defensive zone, and when Doc mentions their names in the play-by-play, Pookie says softly, “Sestito Puente?” Several long moments pass before Schnookie gets it.
2:27 Chico tries to tell us someone has left the game with an injury, but none of us were playing attention to know what he’s talking about.
1:39 Well, we’re not going to take Marty for granted on this play. The Devils are starting to look a bit surprised that the period hasn’t ended yet, and the Caps get a wide two-on-one deep in the Devils zone on a bit of broken play. Marty makes the stop on the first shot, but kicks the rebound directly out to Clark. It looks like a tie game for an agonizing second before Marty makes the second stop on one of those “Wait, the puck isn’t in the net???” saves with the very tip of his toe.
0:55 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So is this the boring, trappy Devils Caps fans complain about? After corralling a loose puck in the defensive zone, Sestito, Bergfors and Halischuk charge up the ice on a three-on-two, and Halischuk blasts a wrister past a helpless Theodore and in under the crossbar for his first NHL goal. It’s 4-2 Devils.
0:00 We love, love, loved this period. It was as delicious as our dinner, or an NJ Devil colossus made out of cans. And speaking of things we love, love, love, we get an interview with Travis. He’s such a sparkling conversationalist. And when Gel-O asks him how difficult it is to lace a rink-long pass like he did to Zach for the breakaway, Acorns pricelessly flatlines, “It’s pretty easy.”
Before the puck drops, “Chico Eats!” features Chico making a pastrami sandwich for his younger sister at Hobby’s Delicatessen. He decides to play a prank on her by putting tons of hot sauce on the sandwich. That Chico. He’s such a scamp.
18:30 The phonk??? The Devils get an out-of-thin-air scoring chance thanks to Zubrus making a goofy, “who knew he could do that?” play to elude the Caps defender, but his shot clanks off the inside of the goalpost and ricochets way out to safety. We’re not sure the Devils realize right now that Ovechkin is not playing tonight, which means there isn’t supposed to be any fun in the game.
16:42 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! None of us are even watching when the Devils score immediately off an offensive zone draw, and when Doc calls the goal, “Cory Murphy!”, Pookie says, “What the?– BOO!” Replay shows Travis winning the draw perfectly back to Murphy, and Murphy firing through a brilliant screen by Patty. And then Doc and Chico inform us that the Devils are the last team in the entire NHL to score five goals in one game. That seems… odd. Well, we’ll take it!
13:01 Morrison takes a crosschecking penalty on Langer, and Langer looks a bit gimpy getting up from the hit. Chico assures us, though, that there’s no way Langer won’t stay in the game, because this is the sort of game guys want to stay in.
11:53 The players aren’t the only ones having fun at The Rawk right now – the fans let rip with a lusty, rafter-rattling “RANGERS SUCK!” Now this is feeling like a good game.
8:34 When the Unseen Hand is brought up in the conversation between Doc and Chico, Pookie suddenly laments that there wasn’t an Unseen Hand can sculpture at the arena tonight.
5:49 Our take on the Devils goaltending tonight is that Marty has been delightful. He’s been playing tons of pucks behind the net, and playing them well. We like when he’s functionally stick-handling and involved in the play like that. It’s like he’s like a trapezoid-hindered third defenseman back there. And that’s our story.
4:31 Doc is rambling about some old-tyme game in which one guy (we weren’t paying very close attention at this point) head-butted Guy Lapointe three times in one fight. Chico: “Well, good for Guy Lapointe, hanging in there for three head-butts.”
3:29 Applesauce is now the only Devil without a point this season, and Chico tells us he was joking that if he didn’t score tonight, he was going to open a bagel shop. Pookie: “If he doesn’t score, he should become an airplane mechanic.” Pause. “Oh, a bagel shop. Like zeroes.” (Doc takes this opportunity to tell us that Applesauce’s pug Nellie had been hospitalized recently, but “is now home and wagging her tail”. The action on the ice is, as you can tell from the play-by-play, torrid.)
0:00 WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was a delightful 1,000th regular-season win for the New Jersey Devils! We loved that! And we love our little early-season juggernaut Devils!